A MODERN FABLE
Mary liked John. She liked the way he gave her thoughtful little gifts. She liked the way he listened attentively when she told him about her worries. She liked the way he always tried to please her.
Unfortunately, Mary never once told John that she liked these things about him. In fact, she never told him that she liked him at all. So, John simply didn’t know that his feelings were returned and, growing tired of not knowing, looked about for another friend.
Mary, of course, was terribly upset about this. She had naturally thought that John really liked her too. After all, they’d spent so much time together, she’d begun to consider them an item. She couldn’t understand what had gone wrong.
Michael, John’s best friend tried to tell her one day, but Mary just didn’t want to listen to criticism of the way she did things, so she never did learn that it is vitally important to let the other person know of your feelings. You see, John never did know how Mary felt about him, because she never once told him, she kept her feelings to herself and so, in the end, destroyed the relationship. And what made it worse, she never found out why it had happened.
Moral: One of the most important things in any friendship is not only to be honest with yourself about your feelings, but to let your friends know them too. A hint is simply not enough. They must be clearly expressed so that the other person really understands them. After all, a friendship devoid of feelings is a desert of a place. And no one wants to live in an emotional desert. If you like people, tell them. Don’t just hint, really tell them – in words which they can understand. You will be rewarded by a stronger friendship.
– Warren Roff-Marsh